HERSHEY, Pa. – David Warsofsky punctuated the shootout with his fifth-round tally, spoiling a strong night in goal by David Leggio and helping the Providence Bruins defeat the Hershey Bears by a 3-2 count on Sunday evening at GIANT Center.
Both Leggio and Bruins netminder Niklas Svedberg were on top of their games in the first period. The Bears were outshot 17-8 in the first 20 minutes, and despite having fewer shots, had the stronger scoring chances.
Hershey would finally solve Svedberg when Michael Latta worked the puck out of the right wing corner and into the slot. Matt Watkins grabbed the pass and fired a snap shot off the crossbar and down behind Svedberg. The goal triggered a plush toy toss that resulted in a record 12,890 being collected for charity. It was also Watkins’ first in a Hershey sweater.
Providence would tie the game late in the period, when Warsofsky carried the puck down the left boards and sent a pass toward the right circle. Alexander Khokhlachev settled the puck down, and then sent a snap shot under the glove of Leggio at 18:54.
The Bruins took their first lead of the game just 1:29 into the third, when Joe Morrow’s long-range slap shot from the left point was tipped by Craig Cunningham past Leggio.
On the Bears’ only power play of the night – one that was shorter than a full two minutes – the club tied the game at the 5:16 mark. Svedberg padded down a sharp-angle shot from Casey Wellman, but the puck slid along the goal line and wide. Jeff Taffe jumped to it, and managed to tuck it inside the right post before Svedberg could recover. The goal pulled Taffe into a tie for the team goal-scoring lead with his seventh of the campaign.
An exciting overtime would end without a goal, thus forcing the shootout. Ryan Stoa would be the only Bears player to solve Svedberg, while the Bruins got consecutive strikes from Seth Griffith, Anthony Camara and Warsofsky en route to the win.
Leggio made 42 saves on 44 shots but absorbed the shootout loss to fall to 3-5-2. Svedberg improved to 8-3-2 with 26 saves on 28 shots.
The Bears record stands at 7-7-2-3 at the quarter-point of the season.
Hershey will now hit the road to take on the Binghamton Senators on Friday night, December 6, with faceoff set for 7:05 PM from Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. The Bears return home to face the Senators on Sunday, December 14 at 5:00 PM.
Individual tickets for this and all Hershey Bears home games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or by visiting TicketMaster.com on the internet. Information on season tickets, group tickets and flex plans for the 2013-2014 Hershey Bears regular season is available by calling (717)508-BEAR.
NOTES: The Bears injury scratches were D Connor Carrick, D Tomas Kundratek and LW Derek Whitmore…Healthy scratches were LW Josh Brittain, LW Nicolas Deschamps, C Jamie Johnson and LW John Mitchell…Hershey finished the night 1-for-1 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill…LW Matt Watkins became the 20th different Hershey player this season to score a goal with his second-period tally.